Dallas woman Joelle "JoJo" Fletcher experienced her first evening as queen of The Bachelorette mansion when the series' 12th season premiered Monday, and it was an eventful night to say the least.
Twenty-six men from across the United States and Canada arrived hopeful to win Fletcher's heart, and for a competition that's based entirely on looks and first impressions, surprisingly few men pulled out all the stops. I mean, you've already stooped to dating on reality television, why spare your dignity now?
That's not to say there weren't deliciously cringe-worthy moments. One man showed up in a full Santa Claus suit chuckling "Jo Jo Jo," while another got so drunk, he stripped down to his underwear. And in what looked like the biggest plot twist so far this season — dun, dun, dun — former (failed) Bachelor contestant and Dallasite Jake Pavelka crashed the party.
Could he be No. 27 in the running to toward happily ever after with Fletcher? Not quite.
Though it seemed like Pavelka, a family friend, showed to derail the season premiere, he merely came to offer JoJo his blessing. Because that's exactly what a woman needs when she's been selected to choose her own fate.
By the end of The Bachelorette's exhausting first episode, four men were sent home. We'll get to that in a minute, but let's take a look at the highlights, shall we?
The frontrunners of this season were obvious the moment they stepped out of the limousines. Jordan, a former professional football player and notably Aaron Rodgers' brother, was first. His cut jaw line, fabulous hair and overall sexiness had an immediate effect on Fletcher, who awarded him the first impression rose after the episode's first real (second overall) kiss.
Jordan is also a Twitter favorite:
Trailing the football player's coattails was Luke, a war veteran from Burnet, Texas. He may not photograph well, but Luke excels at making Fletcher feel at home. The country boy arrived on a "unicorn" named Coconut — remember how that's JoJo's thing? — and gifted the bachelorette a pair of cowboy boots. Couple that with his southern accent? Irresistible. Well played, Luke.
Considering the other two standouts, Fletcher has an undeniable taste for music. James Taylor, a singer-songwriter from Katy, Texas, and Wells, a radio DJ from Nashville, both successfully serenaded her; the former wrote an original tune on guitar, while the latter enlisted the help of R&B group All-4-One.
That was awkward
Several of the men made lasting impressions, though not in a good way.
Nick B., an electrical engineer from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., spent night one impersonating Santa Claus, an act that came complete with JoJo sitting on his lap. Will, a civil engineer from Jersey City, N.J., was so socially awkward, he somehow charmed his way into the season's first kiss and made everyone wish it hadn't happened.
"Maybe that will get better?" Fletcher teased.
Then there was Jonathan, The Bachelorette's Asian rarity. He showed up in a kilt to express his Scottish heritage; fair enough. But the relationship ended when he leaned in and told Fletcher, "I'm not wearing any panties." Boy bye.
The last worth mentioning I'll call Judgmental Chad. This guy's kind of a cutie, though he spoke exactly zero nice words about anyone else in the house Monday night. He intrigued Fletcher, who called him "rugged," "mysterious" and "sexy." I, however, would rather use adjectives like "vain," "insecure" and "abrasive." Don't believe me? Ask the previews:
Every season premiere, there's one person who gets white girl wasted. This time around, it was "white Canadian wasted" and it happened to more than one contestant.
Daniel, a model from Canada, was the first to get belligerent off "one Fireball, two tequilas, two vodkas," before striping and jumping in the pool. Somehow — looking at you Bachelorette producers — he managed to snag the final rose and squeak into the next round.
Another drunkard, the barber Vinny, also lucked out. He and contestant Nick S. were so hammered, they thought it a good idea to barge in on one of Fletcher's solo "confessional" interviews.
The latter ended up taking one for the team — Nick S. was sent home, alongside hopefuls Peter from Chicago, Jake from Playa Vista, Calif., Coley from Chicago and the aforementioned kilt-wearing Jonathan from Vancouver.
Quite a rambunctious bunch, eh? We'll meet you here next week to discuss all the juicy and embarrassing details. Until then...